Thursday, June 30, 2011


Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection, Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere material with which Wisdom builds,
Till smoothed, and squared and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

-William Cowper Compendium p. 740

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7

Nine tenths of being wise, is being wise in time. - Theodore Roosevelt

K. How 'bout a poem on this subject?
Proverbs 2:6
For the Lord gives wisdom, understanding and knowledge

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Whose are you?
Who are you responsible to?
Who are you responsible for?
Does the thought bring you joy?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Getting School Work IN!

"Look at the clock, look at the work you need to do, and bear down.  That super intensity will almost always be over in twenty minutes." - Lizzie Janovic Loving the Little Years
School assignments are like housework.  Anything, almost anything, can be conquered in 20 minutes sweeps and an attitude that says "Yes, I will!"  The almost anythings - just needs the support, of a family member or friend to come along side - and say "Yes, we will!" This is one way we walk through glorifying God - choosing what is good, even when its hard.  And some things are just hard.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last night a book arrived in the mail.  A book about a muse.  A book to lead as an example for a young woman, for my young woman.  It is The Tenth Muse  by Anne Bradstreet.  She was an amazing multifaceted woman who was loving, supportive attentive, brilliant, savy and humble. Perhaps her most impressive character trait  was that she did not consider herself a poet, but rather, a wife and a mother. She understood her calling as a woman.  Isn't that lovely.  We are not what we do, but rather, who we are.  And who we are, surrounds us. Lizzie Janovic in her book Loving the Little Years, states it this way,

"These people are you.  Your identity is supposed to be intertwined- that is the way God wrote the story, and it is the way he intends us to read it."

What is it that makes a hearth warm? Inviting? Alive?  As I peruse pages of wonderful women who love their families well - I see so much variety.  Isn't that beautiful, that God in His creation is gratuitously diverse?  He is displayed so differently in each of, beams of His prism of grace, and our understanding of Him is thereby enlarged.  I love that.

You young ladies have a wonderful day, and enjoy the poems of Mrs. Bradstreet.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Poem to My Daughter's Father

Leading a daughter?
Dads true now so few,
The world’s in rubble-
'Ere penn’d note for you.

It’s simple, sing songy...
Like laughter, and life
You bring to our home,
For both, daughter and wife,

You pray, as you lead,
Have faith, as you guide.
In God, by whose grace
We do step into stride.

His lessons we seek,
And home, be the ground
Where fam'ly is led,
To the Spirit's soft sound.

He’s Master of Right,
Ev’r inch low His rule.
Tho’ culture's a ‘rye-
His Redemption, its pearl.

And lead by hap’chance?
The deal’s BIG; so, no way.
A culture’s abal'nce,
And Dads true, a main stay.

Thanksgiving today
For grace, in its place.
Lead on, in the Way
As our Father sets pace.
-JN 6/19/11

Scribble, scribble - E. Thanks for being amuseing, I mean amazing!
The try - is 3 lines iambic/ anapest, w/ the 4th line of each quatrain being anapest diameter.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A new fav

God doesn't have problems, He only has plans. - Corrie
which falls within the same lines as my former fav of Miss Ten Boom's-

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thoughtful Words from Mr. Roosevelt...

“Remember, it is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."        Theodore Roosevelt
Eight or so years ago, I was given this quote by a collegue at a teacher training.  I have thought about it many times throughout the years, mostly when I was weary-worn and ready to wave the white flag.  
I often wish that someone would have bellowed this truth at me daily in my twenties and early thirties.  Maybe someone did, maybe I wasn't listening. I very often tell, maybe even lecture,  young ladies that life is something less than ideal.  We, females in general, often expect things to go perfectly, thinking that doing the right thing should come easily and should be accompanied with bells, whistles and shouts of accolade. That is so  -not true.  Life is troublesome, we are to expect persecution.  It is difficult.  There is a mixture of good and bad, it is never just one or the other.   Raising a family, living in community, building the Kingdom - is messy, emotionally taxing, and risky. It  is also worth-while, warm and full of unexpected joy. It is riddled with failure, pain, loss, and  plain ol' sinfulness; but then again, it is peppered with laughter,  hope, accomplishments, and and indescripable beauty; and through it all, the ties of His ever-present grace lovingly sustains us.
How can this be?  and Why is this so? Are these questions even important? will always be a mixture of bouts of defeat and glimmers of victory. And we trust in  God's kind, merciful sovereignty to pours over us gratuituosly, and it does.


Monday, June 13, 2011


In the past men were handsome and great (now they are children and dwarfs), but this is merely one of the many facts that demonstrate the diaster of an aging world.  The young no longer want to study anything, learning is in the decline, the whole world walks on its head, blind men lead others equally blind and cause them to plunge into the abyss, birds leave the nest before they can fly, the jackass plays the lyre, oxen dance.  Mary no longer loves the contemplative life and Martha no longer loves the active life, Leah is sterile, Rachel has a carnal eye, Cato visits brothels, Lucretius becomes a woman.  Everything is on the wrong path.  ... I aquired from my master the desire to learn and the sense of the straight way, which remains even when the path is tortuous.
- Emberto Eco The Name of the Rose
The Name of the Rose is a heady detective novel - I'm not sure I'll be able to follow or perhaps even finish it.  It reminds me of the line in the Princess Bride, "Your intellect is dizzying."  Although it might prove too weighty for me to wade through, I am enjoying particular snippets very much, and this one very much, indeed.  True, so true.  And on the subject of tortuous paths:
Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The War Within Already Won

Who am I?  They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
calmly, cheerfully, firmly
Like a squire fom his country-house.
Who am I?  They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I?  They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smiling, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat.
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voice of the birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness
Tossing in expectation of great events.
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance.
Weary and empty at praying,  at thinking, at making,
Faint and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before the others,
And before myself a comtemptable, woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from a victory already achieved?
Who am I?  They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I heard the last few lines of this poem for the first time this past week, and His good Providence at work - that same evening I was telling a friend about it, who just happened to be reading Eric Metaxas' biography of Bonhoeffer and turned right to it.  As she read the first lines me, I was surprised - it was not what I expected as the conduit to the last lines. 
Fast forward a few days, and another friend and I were talking about the struggles of  perception and God's view of us and how Christ's imputation of his righteousness brings an understanding of grace, and joy and a kind of freedom that is ours to grasp.  Yet, we struggle, we question, we wrinkle our noses as others tell us how they see us.  We scepticise, we object, we shake our heads - and I ask myself - really, did Bonhoeffer, think these things?  Are all men cut from of the same cloth, the dusty one?  Will we ever really fully rest in all that He has done for us - in all that is already completed?

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
-Paul to the church at Philippi

And, in the favorite quote, of a third friend - "Heaven is better."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.
-Richard Wilbur
read a loud
It is K's seventeenth birthday and I found this poem. She loves to write and read, she is often hunched over and leaning against the bed with papers strewn about her. We peek in, it makes us smile and gives us joy.

Here is one of the three poems, she wrote on her way home from London. Funny how our kids can bring such joy. Last night at Bible study we were discussing how children are a blessing, but can be a curse if they do not fear the Lord. She makes me remember the wish to be blessed with 4 or 5 more. But alas, she is our only and she is growing up.


I see a train
Of sour dames
Parading pain
And scorning gain.

To them sweet wine
And smoke unwind
And quickly bind
The human mind.

To them I say
I'd rather they
In darkness stay
Than come my way.

The more for me
And those who see
That truly we
In life are free.
- KCN 5/25/11

Friday, June 3, 2011

Trusting Him in Rest or at Work

On His Blindness
John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
"Doth God exact day labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask, But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God does not need
Either man's work or his own gifts.  Who best
bear his mild yoke, they serve him best.  His state
Is kingly:  thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest,
They also serve who only stand and wait."

Every time I read this poem, I am reminded, once again, that both waiting and working are prefaced by trusting in God for His providence and provision.  The idea of "being still" in the work.  Waiting in the waiting and being still in the work is hard, it is difficult, I struggle to maintain right thinking. Trusting that God is ever provident, and loving, and intentional is an exercise in actively remembering.  When  my mind is extrapolating  the "what ifs" and "what coulds" to an unhealthy degree, I am reminded, that I have forgotten to remember.
Good thing He gives grace and a multiplicity of  "Let's begin from the beginning, again..." (the "again" is probably mine?)